What a powerful concept tucked into a short phrase, which leads to the concept of control, courage and level headedness. It’s the concept that when everything is chaos around you, you stay calm and controlled. It’s something I’ve tried to embody (with some failures along the way) most of my life. Not to say I ALWAYS fail at this, I can remember getting rear ended, calmly getting out of my car and thinking, “I would have preferred that had not happened”. That’s the kind of surrender and attitude I strive to bring into all situations, that I don’t prefer.
Growing up in a household where a rational reaction was to anything was to scream, and fight, a concept such as “grace under fire” was foreign to me. I had to and continue to work on this daily. For me it’s a way of coming into my own power, calming taking on any situation, because I have the power to control how I react. Although, for many-like me, that reaction is not innate; but it is something we can train ourselves to embody. It’s something I started to master, or at least start to come into an understanding of when I was on my first deployment. I started with all the self-help books I could find. I mean, I really needed some help. From there it continued, and I experienced a constant rollercoaster of ups and downs; sometimes moving away from my “self-improvement” train, and of course always coming back. It’s a process, and I am constantly bringing in new tools.
Yoga is one of those tools I use to bring myself into my own power and to grow into a controlled and calm state of mind. The tools I’ve learned from the yamas and niyamas show up more in my life than I realized until I started writing. As I write I see how many themes are attached to the yamas and niyamas, and those concepts are bringing more clarity on how to react and handle situations. There is less guessing and figuring out how to handle things on my own. A niyama that comes to mind is surrender, opposed to negative reactions when a situation occurs, for me I try to surrender to that situation at that time, until I have the means to work through it. Sometimes that surrender means, accepting things that are not controllable. Isn’t it all too often we want to react to situations we have no control over? Grace under fire would ask of us otherwise. The training tools that yoga brings into my life are forever flourishing and offering me more abilities to be the grace under the fire.
My bag of tea, (Yogi tea), had a little quote at the end of the string: grace is kindness, compassion and caring. How powerful to replace “Grace” with “kindness, compassion and caring” under fire. When adding those adjectives in place of grace it can give us an opportunity to think even deeper into what it means to have grace under fire. Is it possible to be in a hectic situation and still hold onto kindness, compassion and caring? I know I’m not at a place where I can do that in every situation. Perhaps few chaotic situations, here and there, but overall, there are many situations where I find I have too much of an energetic investment in whatever the situation may be, and therefore still am not at a place where I can find my own neutral mind amidst the chaos. Therefore, I continue to use the tools from yoga and from different gurus to bring me into my own power, and abilities to construct as much power in every situation that is appropriate.
Take a moment to reflect on what grace under fire means to you and how you might want to bring it into your own life, and into the new year.